Interview with Anthony Oliver

Today's interview is with Anthony Oliver he is a British artist based in Belgium. We immediately liked his work and  his ability to create different styles of work that showed his range.

He works in oil on canvas and with his paintings he seeks to challenge his perceptions of what is possible to accept within painting.

£2,250. Oil on linen.  Joy 1 by Anthony Oliver

£2,250. Oil on linen.
Joy 1 by Anthony Oliver

SG: Where do you get your inspiration from?

AO:  It depends on what type of painting  or photograph I ‘m doing. If the painting is abstract it can be about paint, movement , texture  etc... It doesn’t necessarily start with something though I have also painted blown up details from realistic paintings; the source image is not recognisable. For figurative paintings I look at the world around me near & far. I use imagery from everywhere including my own photographs but in most cases the painting doesn’t look like a photo except superficially . 

SG: What are you working on at the moment?

AO: I ‘m working on a very large  2 meter x 2 meter figurative painting, as well as doing a lot of photography and abstract work on paper. I regularly go twice a week to life drawing classes in Brussels. I have done this for years regardless of whatever else I may be doing .

SG: Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it change with each series?

AO: I do both things. If there is a series  I don’t force it, I  just do it until  I feel enough has been said. Sometimes there are dead ends which may suddenly spring to life several years later  sometimes there are unexpectedly rich paths which don’t really seem to end ..

£990. Oil on linen.  Struts by Anthony Oliver

£990. Oil on linen.
Struts by Anthony Oliver

SG: If you could own one work of art what would it be?

AO: I think truly great art should be accessible to everyone. I would feel very uncomfortable with the ownership just for myself and disagree with the huge sums primarily related to financial gain on art. If you twist my arm I think I would be quite happy with Velazquez’s “ Las Meninas “. Not asking much am I ?

SG: What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

AO: I am very happy when someone appreciates what I do and is stimulated not just by one piece but the overall approach to my working practice: they get excited and fascinated by the diversity and the different stories and reasons for my approach. I really appreciate comments on the beauty and craftsmanship of my work. It gives me great pride when people do so after living with a piece for a long period . 

SG: What advice would you give somebody who has just started their artistic career?

AO: I personally find giving advice too direct.  If the path I have taken and the work I do is in any way a form of inspiration to someone that is sufficient in my view . 


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